Prostate cancer treatment not always harrowing.

Author:Mirken, Bruce
Position:WE HEAR YOU - Letter to the editor

Stephen Nash's piece in the March issue, "Bad Diagnosis: FDA Backs Down from Plan to Regulate Tests," rightly points out the need for effective regulation of laboratory-developed tests, but paints an incomplete picture of treatment for prostate cancer. I know. I've been there.

In many cases, treatment need not involve the "harrowing side effects" Nash describes. When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age fifty-one, I elected to be treated with brachytherapy, in which small radioactive seeds are implanted in the prostate. It's an outpatient procedure and side effects are often quite mild--I've had worse times at the dentist.

A 2015 study in the journal Cancer contained good and bad news. For many patients, brachytherapy is effective, has fewer side...

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